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Old 03-16-2013, 05:01 PM   #83
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Default Re: Magic Johnson averaged a triple double over his 1st 4 playoff runs.

Originally Posted by Whoah10115
Magic didn't have to spot up. The offense would just reset.

That really wasn't how the Lakers half court offense worked. It was more of Kareem scoring in the post, running a give and go with Magic, or Kareem passing out to Wilkes, Nixon or Cooper on the perimeter. Sometimes, Magic would find Wilkes under the basket with a bullet pass, drive to the basket or they'd run the "Coop-a-loop" for Michael Cooper, but for the most part, the half court offense was Kareem.

Kareem is really not nearly as indispensable to that team as Magic was. Kareem was soft and without a Magic or a Bird I don't see him ever winning another title. If you switch Magic and Erving then the Sixers beat LA in 1980, and again in 1982...easily, I think, in 1982.

I don't see any argument for Magic being more valuable to the '82 Lakers than Kareem, especially considering their personnel. No way Philly wins those series in those scenarios either. The Lakers had a lot more talent. Philly was very good defensively, but that declines when trading Doc for Magic, and losing Doc's scoring would hurt as well. And in 1980, the gap between Dr. J and Magic was very big. Dr. J probably had his best NBA season and seems like he was easily the 2nd best player in the game behind only Kareem.

Kareem was a much lesser player by 1988. I don't think the Lakers needed him like that. I'll try to not take him completely for granted tho. I think his defense was pretty subpar by then. I won't hold it against him, but facing a team as physical and tough and dirty as Detroit...Kareem was not getting dirty with them. I think they could have gotten by. He was much better in 1987 so maybe it's unfair to say they could have won with him just sitting down, but that's a team that I could see Magic leading, without Kareem being there. As is, with Magic on that team, I'd take that team against...maybe any team...probably any team.

This is fair, and yes, Kareem's defense was subpar by 1988. My only point about '88 was that they really shouldn't have won '88 to begin with. I rarely do this when it comes to calls, but that phantom foul was one of the worst calls in NBA history considering the situation. By that point, they pretty much split time with Kareem for offense and Thompson for defense anyway, but I don't think Kareem was that important by that point.

I can respect that but I think Bird is easily better than Kareem by then.

I think they're very close.

Here's the thing tho...guys are not going to win every year. That's just real life. The Lakers had come off three straight Finals appearances and they just lost Kareem, which was a blow greater than just his loss as a player. But they faced a great Phoenix team (much better than Orlando), a great player in KJ, and it was one series. It was a perfect storm for Cleveland, with Boston losing KG. You could say Williams choked (and I wouldn't argue it) but I think LeBron did everything on his own. Jason Kidd didn't even take that approach, as a true PG on a team that wasn't nearly as good as that Cleveland team...and he took that approach against the Lakers and the Spurs. LeBron played by himself and against a decent team, in the playoffs, with a real coach...that's not gonna work. Mike Brown did a bad job and could have tried to have LeBron move the ball more. But he played his game and that wasn't going to get them past Orlando. That's why I don't appreciate his stats as much. He dominated the ball more so than he did in the regular season and jumpshooters do go cold.

I think some of this is valid, but while Phoenix was more talented than Orlando, LA was easily more talented than the '09 Cavs. Having Pat Riley instead of Mike Brown doesn't hurt either.

Of course you can't win every year, that's why I think it's foolish to make assumptions about Magic on the '09 Cavs. I still don't see how Magic solves the match up problems Lewis and Howard caused.

Prime Magic is not losing to Orlando, even if I borrow one of his legs. But a younger Magic does a better job of getting other players into rhythm and making them better. Again, that Orlando team was better than Cleveland but not incomparable. SVG was a great coach and Mike Brown was not. But 82 Magic is a much better player than 09 Dwight Howard. He is not going to lose to a comparable supporting cast when he's the best player on the floor...not when we're dealing with solid teams...not when it all comes together that way.

Magic's cast was at least comparable to the '90 Suns and he lost that series in 5 so yes it's possible. He was the best player in that series, second best in the league behind Jordan. Lebron himself was a much better player than '09 Dwight and he lost. Having the best player doesn't guarantee anything.
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